You’ve got your popcorn and your flag. You know it’s a sports film and you are ready to cheer for the ‘best man’ who will win. But before you go for that next big sports film and wave your flag, here’s a checklist of stereotypes to watch out for.
1) If the hero plays the sport, it’s given that he has a history of rejection, poverty or humiliation. Or... all of them!
2) The sports hero must be a paragon of virtue. HE will be the lone man standing, taking up cudgels against the corrupt system.
3) The heroine must fall hook, line and sinker for his agility (read: be a dumb blonde because the script demands it!)
4) No matter how battered or bruised, no matter even if he is on the death bed, the hero WILL win the match in the end.
5) No matter what sport the film is based on (football, volleyball, hockey or running), the actual sport will only occupy the last 10 minutes, i.e. the climax scene.
6) The antagonist will be a mean, unscrupulous, salacious, busybody who, although appearing to be a better opponent at the beginning of the story, will be thrashed to bloody pulp in the end.
7) Every villain will have a group of four equally dicey set of friends who will cheer him on in his misdemeanors. And you are damn right, they don’t play any sport. They are just around to raise their eyebrows or narrow their eyes for special effects.
8) There will always be an elderly mentor. He will be either a former sports champ or a failure. The only thing he plays is: motivational speaker for the hero.
9) Nine out of ten times, the hero will meet with an accident or get thrashed by the villain and friends before he reaches the final fight.
10) And let’s not forget that elaborate motivational song to show the preparatory journey of the hero before the epic finale.
Not worth all that money spent on the popcorn, right?
Idea courtesy: Binu K Narayanan (Cinema Paradiso)
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